Halloween 2022 : Lurking around 31st October
Not a very popular concept in India, Halloween can without a doubt be called a renowned festival among the Christian communities, especially in the U.S and European countries. Although many may confuse it for a fun night of dressing up as evil looking monsters and ghosts to get treated with candy bars on every alternate door, there are other ways of celebrating Halloween with respect to its topography. This year Halloween lurks on 31st of October around the world.
The western traditions of Halloween can be found in the roots of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where, as summer recedes and the winter season creeps in, it is believed that departed souls and spirits can pave their way into the mortal world. To prevent themselves from the dawn of the dead, people dress themselves up in scary ghost like attires and offer feasts and ignite bonfires to keep darkness away.
The festivity of Samhain was originally devised in order to sway away the evil and engage in such rituals that would pacify these souls. As a result Halloween as a tradition took from such conventions of Samhain and follows them till date with the same cause and purpose. However, the festive customs differ from region to region and here’s how.
European countries celebrate Halloween with fancy outfits, ostentatious parades, club events organised in the ancient, mysterious lanes and bylanes of the cities. The streets are lit spookily to evoke an aura of the festival for the passers-by.
Transylvania, in Romania is one of the most famous attractions during Halloween because of its famous tales on “the Dracula” and its majestic citadels with an eerie look in the night-time. Prague, a city of Gothic tales, encompasses extraordinary architecture while traversing through its sinister spooky lanes, which makes the place an ideal time to spend Halloween regardless of the season.
The traditions of the Celtic festival of Samhain are preserved in Scotland and Ireland. In Dublin, a Samhain parade is hosted every year to commemorate the dead. The large mighty castles of Edinburgh are associated with its ancient uncanny dark folk tales along with a given history of paranormal activity.
In Japan, celebration is not just confined to children knocking on doors for trick or treat, but also complemented by Cosplays and themed parties. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade is walked on by several people in varying costumes throughout the season for which they have to prepare for, in advance.
In America, Halloween is more about the celebration for celebration sake than the tradition. In the second half of the 19th Century, many Irish immigrants had flown to America and shortly after that began to popularize the concept of Halloween in America. Children carve out faces from Pumpkins and attempt to resemble Jack o’ lanterns and spooky ghostly creatures. They engage in what is colloquially called Trick or treat, wherein they go door to door asking for candies and chocolates. Essentially, they dress up like ghosts who need to be quenched with the feast of sweets.
In India, a scanty number of people celebrate Halloween as it succeeds the festival of Diwali or Kali Puja which essentially triumphs good over the advent of evil. All cultures around the globe somehow tread the same path in admonishing evil and make hay with light and splendour to commemorate their respective festivities.